We are not looking for a second dog at the moment, but I'd like to plan ahead so we can make the right decision when the time comes. I'd love to get your input.
We have a 9.5 yo female lab/border collie mix. She is super tolerant, loves everyone, is playful in spurts several times a day, but is content to lay around too. Her only behavior issue is that she is a big food beggar, and we can deal with that. We think she's the perfect dog. We want all our future dogs to be like her! (Is that too much to ask???)
I have a few questions:
1. Do you think it's best to have more than one dog (because they are pack animals), or is just one okay?
2. What are your thoughts about adding a dog to a home with a senior dog who doesn't like puppy antics?
3. What breeds or breed mixes would you suggest for the following criteria?
--loves kids and is super tolerant of them (my son is 11, but I want dogs who love kids of all ages)
--relatively low energy, but likes to play in sessions (daily play time, but not a high energy breed)
--is smart enough to learn basic training and dog manners, but has a calm, slightly goofy personality
--easy to housetrain
--doesn't have a tendency to be dog aggressive and isn't overly prey-focused
--isn't an excessive shedder or drooler
--doesn't have a tendency to run off (so we can go on off-leash walks or hang out together in the front yard)
--enjoys petting and being with people ( we don't mind dogs that follow us from room to room--we like it, actually)
Basically, we like calm, friendly, tolerant dogs who just mesh with family life.
Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER! AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!
If you only have one dog, he accepts his human family as his pack.
We got a puppy when our arthritic lab was 12 years old, and wanted nothing to do with playing. We did not allow the pup to torment the old dog, and kept them separated when we weren't there to supervise them.
The nice thing was that the pup looked to the old dog as a role model. "Hey Jack, the family's eating supper, what do we do?" "We lay quietly under the table and hope something drops". "Hey Jack, the family's getting ready to leave the house - what do we do?" "We lay quietly and look pathetic". By the time he was 6 months old, the puppy had old dog manners.
My Cardigan Welsh Corgi fits every one of your criteria - except for the shedding part. He sheds more than the lab ever did, even though he's 1/3 the size! It would be a lot better if I brushed him more often. But he is very smart, a willing learner (he's a herding dog, like your border collie), willing to play and go for walks, but not a pest about it. He was about 80% housetrained when I brought him home at 10 weeks. He most definitely has a goofy personality! He isn't the cuddliest dog I've had, but he does always want to be in the same room with us, and loves to be petted. My kids were 7 when we got him, but he is very tolerant of my 3-yr-old niece (who likes to put hair scrunchies on his ears and tail). He has a big bark, but very quickly learned the command "Quiet", and he knows he is not allowed to bark more than once or twice when he's outside. He'll lay on the front steps for hours, watching the world go by - squirrels and birds don't bother him, but he does go nuts if he sees a cat. His breeder described him as a sensible puppy, and he continues to be sensible - he puts himself to bed at 10, and sleeps in on weekends.
If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.
Funny, we are in the same position- older dog (age 11) and entertaining the idea of another one. My son thinks he is going to take ours with him when he leaves the house someday. We have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and I too was thinking that he fits almost all of your criteria! Of course the shedding is intense. That would be the other thing deterring me from getting another one. Other than that he has been the PERFECT dog. His energy and personality is perfect for us! Not a barker, not a jumper or a whiner. He is just the coolest dog and everyone who knows him loves him.
I would love to have a non shedding dog but from what I know of them, they tend to be more high strung ankle biter types. The only dog I have liked that was a non shedder was my friends schnauser.
I am probably definitely biased, but a Mastiff, minus the drooling (and some drool more than others) would fit your criteria. Of course they are probably way more dog than you want, but they are the gentlest and sweetest of souls.
"If you find from your own experience that something is a fact and it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must abandon the authority and base your reasoning on your own findings"~ Leonardo da Vinci
I have a Keeshond mix, and think Keeshonds meet every one of your criteria except shedding, too. They are sweet, affectionate, calm in the house, but active outside. My dog is 16 now and no longer so active, but when she was younger, she was just the right size to keep pace with me when I'd go jogging. I've never seen her aggressive with a person, and she gets along well with other dogs, too. I don't know if this a is typical of the breed, but until she went deaf, I rarely leashed her when we were out in the yard or when we'd go camping on our land - there was no need, because she'd always stay within a few paces from me. She was fostered by a professional dog trainer before I adopted her, though, so it could just be that she was very well trained - I'm really not sure. Like I said, her coat is the only thing that doesn't really fit your bill. I keep mine in a puppy cut, which really cuts down on the amount of fur I have to vacuum up.
Our corgi is great with our kids. He has a few quirks like sore ears and a sore back end so he is wary of other children- but has never nipped. Just warned.
My husband grew up with Keeshonds and he can't say enough good things about them, especially how they are with children! He is very fond of them and would have another in a heartbeat but the idea of corgi fur AND Keeshond fur gives me nightmares!!